“Halloween is a magical holiday about being whoever you want to be.”
WandaVision’s Halloween episode starts off with Billy telling the audience that was what makes Halloween special. Tommy responds that it’s about candy and scaring people, illustrating the dichotomy between the two and between the essence of storytelling – do you tell yourself a story about who you want to be, or do you hurt others?
That’s the core of Wanda’s story at least (or at least her trauma). The show offers a number of other clues (as well as some direction for the rest of the story.) WandaVision has settled into a fantastic balance between the two. Let’s break down the good and bad of WandaVision Episode 6.
From the real world to Westview, there’s a lot to cover for Marvel’s first actual “horror” filled episode.
Tension in the Maximoff House and a Brand New Voice
WandaVision opens with a brand new voice breaking the fourth wall, something Marvel fans are familiar with but may not have actually seen within Disney’s side of the MCU. Billy and Tommy address the camera much like someone in an early 2000s sitcom would but given Billy and Tommy’s sheer existence it offers an interesting potential avenue for the future. Billy and Tommy were both created by this powerful event. Could that be in the cards for at least one of them?
Things only get stranger from there as Wanda’s world begins to crumble from the outside in. Vision is keeping up the facade to keep her calm and announces that he’s going on patrol while Wanda and Pietro who has evolved into the “wacky brother-in-law trope” go trick or treating while she tries to figure out just why he looks like a character from another studio.
Meanwhile outside of the boundary things come to a head with Hayward and Monica Rambeau. Monica proves herself a true hero, trying to help Wanda and reach out to her. Hayward attacks her with the blip, addressing the psychological toll it’s supposedly taken on others.
After attacking her mother and kicking her out, our time in the real world effectively ends with Jimmy Woo and Monica Rambeau teaming up for a TV-style fight (and maybe it’s being absorbed in American television but it felt like something out of a TV show instead of the movies fans are used to. The meta is officially becoming a little much).
Marvel’s first turn at horror is interesting. Even if it’s not something demonic or magical, there is very much horror at WandaVision’s core. That’s evident by the residents of Ellis Street, presumably at the end of Wanda’s power center and frozen.
A human mind (or even a mutant mind) is presumably capable of only so much and Wanda is bent on making this Shangri-La for her family which means that she might miss a few things. Vision’s trip through the town outskirts is worthy of any horror story and seeing how people skip should set off a few alarm bells.
What really drives home the horror point, however (and at least to this reviewer confirms that even if it has a down to earth explanation there’s still something magical at its heart) is Agnes. Agnes the neighbor remains the most enigmatic and mysterious character.
She always appears and she always has some sort of power and authority or knows something. For the first time, we see her either with the veil dropped or being truly herself, dressed as a witch and looking for the town square scare.
(And even thinking about it, given later events in the show I am forced to wonder if this Lynchian nightmare Agnes missed her cue and didn’t make it to see what happens to Pietro later.)
Brought back by Vision, Agnes is seemingly driven mad. She shouts dead at the top of her lungs before cackling maniacally and murmuring that “All is Lost.” More pieces are being added to Agnes the neighbor and after that Vision decides to try and sacrifice himself to save the people in the town by approaching the barrier.
Marvel is also tapping into the body horror aspect of superhero comics by confirming that Monica is on the verge of getting her powers. She — making a truly heroic sacrifice — decides to keep moving forward to help Wanda while Darcy stays behind setting the scenes for the final confrontation.
Town Square Scare
Pietro (or is it Pietro? Or some sort of revenge from Fox Studios for the Disney acquisition beyond the grave?) seems hellbent on revealing the state of affairs in the town by pointing out that all of the kids have to have been sleeping. With the air of a 90s television producer discussing the nature of a shooting schedule he breaks down just how Wanda may be intentionally or unintentionally controlling the town.
While she doesn’t want to admit it she gives us a few clues as to what’s happening and how it happened. Namely, in a place of deep and profound loss, she suddenly gained these abilities — almost as if she made a deal with a higher power.
Pietro even mentions “creating nightmares and blasting red wigglies from his hands” which seemingly mentions another character that people have suspected — the Marvel villain Nightmare.
(I’ll address those theories later)
After Pietro drops that subtle clue, we return to Vision who is trying to do the noble thing and escape the Hex so that he can get help for the people in Westview. He manages to make it in a poignant moment where he’s literally being torn apart to try and get them assistance. SWORD watches and Darcy, driven by human compassion, moves to help him. Never the less he dies and Billy senses it.
Both the boys at this point have their powers (Tommy has super speed and Billy has his mother’s abilities – or at least some facsimile of them) and once Billy shares that his father is in danger Wanda moves to help him by literally moving Heaven and Earth, or in this case her Earth, across ours.
Reaching a Wider Audience
Is there any other way to describe what happens at the end of the episode beyond pure pandemonium? Darcy is left trapped in the Hex after warning Monica that it rewrites human DNA, a number of SWORD agents are also left after Hayward flees like a coward, and Jimmy and Monica are on their way to meet her contact.
In a nod that is sure to spawn a number of memes most of the SWORD members are transformed into clowns at a circus and the irony isn’t lost on anyone who’s been on the internet with the remotest political opinion. Marvel, always giving fans memes and great storytelling to boot. Episode 6 “All-New Halloween Spooktacular!,” gives audiences plenty of both.
Tricks and Treats
- When Billy and Tommy mention vampires everyone should be thinking of the recent news that Stacy Osei-Kuffour has been tapped to write Mahershala Ali’s Blade reboot.
- This episode was FULL of easter eggs from Pietro shouting that the children were “demonspawn” to other mentions (I also think his tattoo changes)
- Whatever the circumstances, the residents of Ellis Avenue were some of the most unique comic horror things I’ve seen. Positively Lynchian.
- SWORD agents turning into clowns was hilarious and the internet is going to meme that until it’s bone dry.
What did you think of episode 6 “All new Halloween Spooktacular!”? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below!